Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Offers New Hope For Infants Awaiting Heart Transplantation

Date:
March 19, 2001
Source:
The Hospital For Sick Children
Summary:
Researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children have discovered that infant heart transplants can be performed safely and successfully despite major blood type incompatibility between the donor and recipient. The study, published in the March 15 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, challenges current clinical thinking about the human immune system and offers new hope for infants waiting for heart transplantation.

TORONTO - Researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children have discovered that infant heart transplants can be performed safely and successfully despite major blood type incompatibility between the donor and recipient. The study, published in the March 15 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, challenges current clinical thinking about the human immune system and offers new hope for infants waiting for heart transplantation.

Related Articles


Newborns requiring heart transplantation often die because of the critical shortage of donor hearts. Efficient allocation of the rarely available organs is hampered by the presumed need for a recipient who is ABO-compatible with the donor. Babies with blood group O encounter disproportionate competition for organs, whereas organs from donors with the less common B and AB blood types may go unused if there is no recipient of appropriate size and compatible blood type on the waiting list.

In the study, 10 infants between the ages of four hours and 14 months received heart transplants from donors of incompatible blood type between 1996 and 2000. The overall survival of the recipients of ABO-incompatible donor hearts was 80 per cent. The two children that died, died of causes unrelated to ABO-compatibility. The children who received ABO-incompatible transplants had no more rejection or chronic problems after transplantation than the recipients with ABO-compatible donor hearts. The expanded donor pool afforded by this protocol contributed to a decrease in waiting list deaths from 58 to seven per cent.

"We reasoned that because the infant immune system is immature and lacks the antibodies that cause hyperacute rejection, it would be safe to cross the blood group barrier. In adults, blood type compatibility in heart transplantation is crucial because the recipient's immune system is fully developed and equipped with high levels of antibodies that will cause immediate rejection of the donated heart if it is not of compatible blood-type," said Dr. Lori West, the lead author of the study, and a cardiologist and transplant immunologist at The Hospital for Sick Children.

"What's really exciting about this research is that we seem to have induced tolerance in these babies to the donor blood group antigens. No other case or clinical situation has been reported of human neonatal transplant tolerance. This tells us that the window of susceptibility to tolerance induction in humans, at least to certain antigens, likely extends into the newborn period and isn't just restricted to fetal immune development," added Dr. West, also an assistant professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto.

"This group of children is not freed from the need for lifelong immunosuppressive drug therapy to prevent rejection, because there are many additional antigens in the transplanted heart that trigger a rejection response. However, this study has important implications not only for expansion of the donor pool, but for the future development of tolerance-inducing protocols for young children requiring organ transplantation, particularly those diagnosed in utero with lethal diseases. Tolerance is much more likely to be successfully induced during immaturity than any time later in life," said Dr. West.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Hospital For Sick Children. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Hospital For Sick Children. "Study Offers New Hope For Infants Awaiting Heart Transplantation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 March 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010316072036.htm>.
The Hospital For Sick Children. (2001, March 19). Study Offers New Hope For Infants Awaiting Heart Transplantation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010316072036.htm
The Hospital For Sick Children. "Study Offers New Hope For Infants Awaiting Heart Transplantation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/03/010316072036.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins